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September 16, 2009

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Hello, you must be going. Sri Lanka's former Foreign Secretary explains why his country keeps showing U.N. officials the door.

Poll-axed. Afghanistan's voting oddities lead its Electoral Complaints Commission to begin a voting audit.

The Canadian economy goes south. The PM's in D.C. to battle U.S. protectionism -- but the mayor of Halton Hills, Ontario has already declared war.

Bedtime for Ponzi. The RCMP puts the case of two alleged scammers to bed -- but it seems regulators may have been asleep at the switch.

An accident slated to happen. Months after a Formula One scandal over a pre-arranged crash, debris continues to rain down.

And...oh my stars and garters! Ann O'Malley is worried her property values may be falling -- because her property itself is writhing.

As It Happens, the Wednesday edition. Radio that reveals a woman's home is Hiss Castle.


SRI LANKA UN Duration: 00:07:55

One expulsion of a United Nations official from Sri Lanka might be an anomaly. A second U.N. official being threatened with expulsion might seem a coincidence. But now that a third is awaiting deportation, it just might have become a trend.

Earlier this month, we told you that UNICEF's spokesperson in Colombo was being asked to leave the country. James Elder is accused of having given false information to the media while Sri Lanka was in its final stages of civil war with the LTTE, or Tamil Tiger rebels.

Since the news of Mr. Elder's expulsion broke, troubles with other U.N. officials have come to light. One has been expelled for distributing satellite images of the war zone, and another was threatened with expulsion -- but negotiated to stay.

The person responsible for all this is Sri Lanka's former Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona. "Former", because Dr. Kohona has just been appointed the Permanent Representative for Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York. That's where we reached him.


BLUE LOTUS Duration: 00:00:14
Album: GLOBAL FUSION
Label: DETOUR, 3984 25495
Persons/Roles:
L. SUBRAMANIAM - COMPOSER
L SUBRAMANIAM - VIOLIN
L SUBRAMANIAM - PRODUCER
ABDOULAYE DIABATE - PERCUSSION
MIYA MASAOKA - KOTO
JORGE STRUNZ - GUITAR
JIE-BING CHEN - ERHU

BUY AMERICA MAYOR Duration: 00:07:56

As Prime Minister Stephen Harper stops by America, one of his plans is to "stop Buy America."

The Prime Minister met with President Barack Obama today. And tomorrow, he'll meet with Congressional leaders. Trade is sure to be on the agenda -- and many are hoping those meetings can help slow a wave of American protectionism. As part of its infrastructure stimulus spending, the U.S. government placed "Buy American" requirements on contracts that use stimulus funds -- a move which took business from many Canadian companies.

One of the people paying close attention is Rick Bonnette. He's the mayor of Halton Hills, Ontario. Back in the spring, he gained international attention when he started his own campaign to battle American protectionism.


OUT ON THE WEEKEND Duration: 00:00:24
Album: BLUEGRASS TRIBUTE TO NEIL YOUNG/MAY, TIM
Label: CMH, CD 9531
Persons/Roles:
NEIL YOUNG - COMPOSER
CHARLIE CHADWICK - DOUBLE BASS
BRIAN CHRISTIANSON - MANDOLIN
SHAD COBB - FIDDLE
SUSIE COLEMAN - VOCALS
AL GOLL - DOBRO
CHRIS JOSLIN - BANJO
TIM MAY - ARRANGER
TIM MAY - PRODUCER
TIM MAY - VOCALS
GRETCHEN PRIEST-MAY - FIDDLE
KYLE WOOD - VOCALS

FTR: TITUS GORILLA OBIT Duration: 00:02:16

Rwanda is mourning the loss of its most famous silverback gorilla.

On Monday, Titus, also known as the "Gorilla King", has died at the age of thirty-five. Despite being born underdeveloped, Titus became the dominant male of his group, and fathered his first child at the tender age of eleven. He spent much of his life living in close quarters to researchers, and it was their work on the plight of the gorilla that made him one of the most famous primate in Africa.

The late zoologist Dian Fossey immortalized Titus in her book Gorillas in the Mist. And last year, the BBC ran a documentary about the unique silverback's life. Rwandan officials have described him as "possibly the most remarkable gorilla ever known".

For the record, here is Dian Fossey talking to the BBC World Service about Titus.


DON'T Duration: 00:00:15
Album: SEU JORGE: CRU
Label: WRASSE, WRASS 160
Persons/Roles:
JERRY LEIBER - DESIGNER
MIKE STOLLER - DESIGNER
SEU JORGE - SINGING

FORMULA ONE FIXING Duration: 00:06:28

Formula One is a very dangerous sport. With cars whipping around the track at speeds of up to three-hundred-and-fifty kilometres per hour, any crash has the potential to be deadly.

Which is why the world of Formula One was stunned this summer by the allegation that a team had asked one of its drivers to deliberately crash his car. The former Renault team driver Nelson Piquet Junior claimed that his bosses had ordered him to crash during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix -- in order to help another Renault driver win the race. The allegations prompted an investigation by Formula One's governing body, the F-I-A, which has scheduled a hearing for next Monday.

Today, the Renault team dropped a bombshell. It announced that it would not dispute the allegation, and that its two top directors would resign.

Quebec journalist Jacques Duval has been covering Formula One for decades. We reached him today in Montreal.


CLOSING WEDNESDAY Duration: 00:00:40

We're going to take a break now, so that you can listen to the news. But we'll be back in just a few minutes with a lot more As It Happens. When we return:

Down on the count. After a flurry of complaints about voting irregularities, Afghanistan will undergo a partial recount.

Getting a prison break. After months, the pregnant wife of a Canadian journalist imprisoned in Iran receives a welcome phone call.

Terror eyes. New research shows scary music is even scarier when you can't see.

Stay tuned. I'm CO.

And I'm BB.


AIH PHONE THEME Duration: 00:00:30
Album: AS IT HAPPENS
Label: DEMO
Persons/Roles:
JEFF ULSTER - COMPOSER
JEFF ULSTER - PERFORMER

RETURN WEDNESDAY Duration: 00:06:05

Hello again, I'm CO.

And I'm BB. This is As It Happens, Part Two.

Coming up:

Slow progress on two guys pulling a fast one: the surprisingly long tale of how a pair of Ponzi schemers we brought, gradually, to justice.

A ser-penthouse apartment: a Manitoba woman's home is infested with garter snakes.

Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.


AFGHAN RECOUNT Duration: 00:00:54

"Clear and convincing evidence of fraud."

The phrase doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the democratic process. But it's a phrase Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission has used to describe the preliminary results of last month's presidential election.

At the moment, incumbent Hamid Karzai enjoys a slim majority of the preliminary vote tally -- enough to secure his re-election if the results stand. But the U.N.-backed Electoral Complaints Commission is the ultimate arbiter of the election. And it has now ordered an audit and recount of about ten per cent of Afghanistan's polling stations.

Ottawa native Grant Kippen is the chair of Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission. He is in Kabul.


MONK Duration: 00:04:07
Album: ...IF ACCIDENT WILL/GORDON GRDINA TRIO
Label: PLUNGE
Persons/Roles:
GORDON GRDINA - COMPOSER
TOMMY BABIN - DOUBLE BASS
GORDON GRDINA TRIO - JAZZ GROUP
GORDON GRDINA - GUITAR
GORDON GRDINA - OUD
KENTON LOEWEN - DRUMS

WHITE COLLAR CRIME - COLUMNIST Duration: 00:06:56

On yesterday's program, we told you that the RCMP had charged two Alberta men -- Milowe Brost and Gary Sorenson -- with running an alleged Ponzi scheme. The pair allegedly bilked naïve investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars over a period of several years.

But it wasn't the exactly the swiftest sting operation on record. The Alberta Securities Commission had been been tracking Mr. Sorenson for well over a decade. In 2005, it froze over a million dollars of his assets. And in 2007, it levied a six-hundred-and-fifty-thousand dollar fine against Mr. Brost -- the largest against a single individual in the commission's history.

The two men were also on the regulatory radar in Ontario and Saskatchewan. And south of the border too, in Washington State and Texas. Which naturally prompts the question: just why did it take so long to bag the rapscallions?

Deborah Yedlin has been wondering the same thing. She's a business columnist with the Calgary Herald, and she thinks a national securities commission might help prevent scoundrels from running scams like this in the future.


SECONDARY WALTZ Duration: 00:00:10
Album: MARK KNOPFLER: KILL TO GET CRIMSON
Label: MERCURY, 0251742073
Persons/Roles:
MARK KNOPFLER - COMPOSER
MARK KNOPFLER - WRITER
MARK KNOPFLER - SINGING

MB SNAKE INFESTATION Duration: 00:05:39

Unless you live in a nuclear fall-out shelter, you've probably had this experience: you're strolling around your home -- maybe going to the kitchen to get another bag of Ringolos -- and you come across a new, unwelcome tenant. A tenant of a different species, who is definitely not paying rent.

Well, Ann O'Malley goes through that every day these days. And we're not just talking about seeing a spider in the tub or a mouse darting under the oven.

We reached Ms. O'Malley in Inwood, Manitoba to explain.


CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF YOUR LOVE, BABE Duration: 00:01:58
Album: BARRY WHITE: ALL-TIME GREATEST HITS/WHITE, BARRY
Label: MERCURY, 314 522 459-2
Persons/Roles:
BARRY WHITE - COMPOSER
BARRY WHITE - PRODUCER
BARRY WHITE - VOCALS

LCM Duration: 00:01:47
Album: TOWA TEI: LAST CENTURY MODERN
Label: EAST WEST, 8573-82962-2
Persons/Roles:
TOWA TEI - COMPOSER
HIMAWARI KIDS - CHOIR
TOWA TEI - INSTRUMENTS

IRAN JOURNALIST: WIFE Duration: 00:07:23

For eighty-eight days now, Maziar Bahari has been in locked away in Iran's notorious Evin prison. And as those days have slowly added up to weeks, then months, his wife has waited to hear his voice.

Paola Gourley is pregnant with the Canadian journalist's first child. And she has had to watch from a distance as her husband was arrested and accused of inciting a velvet revolution in Iran -- and as he confessed, at a show trial.

On Sunday, Paola Gourley finally got the call she had been waiting for. We reached Ms. Gourley in London.


DON'T BE AFRAID TO SING Duration: 00:00:14
Album: HEART
Label: ARTS & CRAFTS, A&C 003
Persons/Roles:
TORQUIL CAMPBELL - COMPOSER
EVAN CRANLEY - COMPOSER
AMY MILLAN - COMPOSER
PAT MCGEE - COMPOSER
CHRIS SELIGMAN - COMPOSER
STARS - POP GROUP
CHRIS SELIGMAN - PRODUCER
PAT MCGEE - PRODUCER
AMY MILLAN - PRODUCER
TORQUIL CAMPBELL - PRODUCER
EVAN CRANLEY - PRODUCER

DEATH ROW VEIN DELAY Duration: 00:07:42

Yesterday, Romell Broom was strapped to a gurney and wheeled into a windowless chamber. In that chamber, technicians hooked him up to an I.V. line to administer a lethal injection.

Or at least, they tried to.

Mr. Broom has been on death row in an Ohio state prison since 1984, when he was convicted of raping and murdering a fourteen-year old girl. Yesterday, he was scheduled to die. However -- due to incompetence, fate, or an anatomical anomaly -- the technicians administering Mr. Broom's injection couldn't find a decent vein for the injection. And, as a result, his execution was called off.

Mr. Broom's lawyer, Tim Sweeney, has managed to get a one-week reprieve for his client. We reached Mr. Sweeney at his office in Cleveland, Ohio.


FTR: TRAFALGAR DEATH ROW Duration: 00:01:16

Fifty-year-old British grandmother Linda Carty is also on Death Row in the United States. She is awaiting death by lethal injection for the 2001 murder of her neighbor.

Ms. Carty has always maintained her innocence, and claimed that her death sentence is the result of an incapable lawyer. Her story is well-known in England, and recently, artist Antony Gormley included it into his project called "One and Other".

The project is taking place on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth until October 16th. The idea behind "One and Other" is that every hour, twenty-four hours a day, for a hundred days, without a break, different people take their places on the plinth -- becoming part of a constantly changing, living artwork.

Linda Carty used her hour on the plinth to make a last plea for help. She recorded a message in the Texas prison where she's being held -- and here's what it sounded like, for the record.


REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, FILM MUSIC/PARTY Duration: 00:00:11
Album: REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, SOUNDTRACK
Label: NONESUCH, 79611
Persons/Roles:
CLINT MANSELL - COMPOSER
DAVID HARRINGTON - PRODUCER
KRONOS QUARTET - STRING QUARTET

BERMUDA TRIANGLE STUDY Duration: 00:07:27

On January 30th, 1948, a British South American Airways plane carrying twenty-five passengers and six crew members was on its way to Bermuda. It landed, and everyone enjoyed their vacations.

No, not really. Really, it vanished. And no bodies or wreckage were ever found.

A year later, the same type of airplane -- an Avro Tudor IV -- belonging to the same airline company also disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle.

For decades, authors have referred to stories like these two to support supernatural theories about the mysterious, plane-eating region between Florida, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda. But there are two sides to this three-sided story -- as one man discovered when he launched a new investigation into the lost planes.

Tom Mangold is an award-winning investigative journalist with the BBC. He's the man behind the new documentary series "Inside The Bermuda Triangle: The Mysteries Solved."


LA TEMPETE DES CORNEILLES Duration: 00:00:07
Album: SUR LE TOIT DES VOISINS/GADJI-GADJO
Label: MANGE-TA-MAIN, MTMGG002
Persons/Roles:
PIERRE-OLIVIER DUFRESNE - COMPOSER
GADJI-GADJO - FOLK ENSEMBLE
GADJI-GADJO - INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE
GADJI-GADJO - PRODUCER
ROBERT LANGLOIS - PRODUCER

SC: SCARY MUSIC Duration: 00:02:31

Let's be scientists together. Adopt a probing expression, and listen to this -- with your eyes open:Frown and nod thoughtfully. Now, re-adopt that probing expression, and listen to it again -- this time, with your eyes closed.Experiment concluded. Now, professors: which time was more scary?

Let me share my results, in brief. Both times were scary. It was "Night on Bald Mountain", after all. If it were played by an orchestra of kazoos, it would still be scary. But it was scarier with my eyes shut.

We're not the only scientists pursuing this research. Recently, neuroscientist Dr. Talma Hendler conducted a study on the subject of closed eyes and music and scariness. You know how you felt activity peaking in your amygdala when your eyes were closed? Well, Dr. Hendler needed an fMRI machine to prove that was happening in her volunteers.

The amygdala is the centre of emotion in your brain. And it now seems that it's working harder to connect various parts of the brain when your eyes are closed. Which could mean that listening to music of any type with your eyes shut has a future therapeutic use.

Our work together -- and to a lesser extent, Dr. Hendler's work -- got me wondering. What songs or pieces of music most increase activity in your amygdala when your eyes are closed? Or, to put it less colloquially: what songs or pieces of music scare you the most? Let Talkback know -- the number is 416-481-5718. Or e-mail us at aih@cbc.ca.

Here's a little music to put you in the mood. Pour yourself a glass of Chablis, close your eyes, and then convince yourself a half-mummy, half-vampire is hiding in your front closet. Here's Andrew Davis, with Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor".


TOCCATA AND FUGUE Duration: 00:01:00
Album: ANDREW DAVIS PLAYS THE ORGAN AT ROY THOMSON HALL/DAVIS, ANDREW
Label: MARQUIS, ERA 109
Persons/Roles:
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH - COMPOSER
ANDREW DAVIS - ORGAN
ANTON KWIATKOWSKI - PRODUCER
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